NT News: Activists say company is lying

Publish Date:
10th December 2013

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ENERGY Resources of Australia insists there is no environmental impact from the weekend’s spill of about one million litres of radioactive and acidic slurry from a tank at the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu.
But environmental groups are calling on the Rio Tinto subsidiary to allow independent scientists onsite to conduct their own tests.
‘‘I think they’re lying,’’said Dr Stuart Blanch, director of Environment Centre NT. ‘‘It’s clear there’s contaminated water from the burst tank on soil. They said it’s landed mainly on impervious surfaces, like cement but it’s clearly not.’’

Senator Mathias Cormann said Australia’s acting supervising scientist had provided the assurances after attending the site in the Kakadu National Park. ‘‘The spill was contained within the plant area and there is no threat to the surrounding area or to human health outside of the immediate area,’’ Senator Cormann told the Upper House in Question Time yesterday.

The Government has ordered an investigation into the spillage, and Senator Cormann said a clean-up had
begun, including installation of retaining walls to prevent the slurry spreading. There have been more
than 200 safety breaches and incidents over the past 30 years at the site, according to Environment Centre NT.